“Have you seen this?” she asked.
She was crouched in front of a box at the other end of the hall. I had just picked up a small nightstand and was about to go up the stairs. Now I was indecisive and looked at her outline against the kitchen backlight. I hesitantly put the furniture on the floor and walked to her.
“Everything is smashed,” she said and held up part of a plate.
I looked in the box. It was filled halfway with shards of broken porcelain and glass.
“There’s no paper in there, Frannie.”
“Huh?” a shadow of annoyance crossed her face “I can see that.”
“I was just saying,” I said and raised my hands slightly, innocently. I started to move back to my nightstand.
I heard the clink as the piece she held dropped back into the box. “I’m not the one who didn’t pack these properly, you know.”
I stopped and looked at her. “Well, I didn’t pack the box,” I said.
“But I didn’t not pack them properly,” she said. She was beginning to look mad.
“What does it matter, now? We can get a new set of dishes. Let’s just get the stuff off the driveway.”
Her face went blank. I could feel steam exude from her as she walked past. I had no idea what the problem was, but I know I didn’t pack the box.
“Oh, do you think that was the right way to pack that?”
“Why are you such a prick?” she said quietly.
“Nevermind.” She walked out the door. I watched her pick up another box and then walk past me to carry it to the kitchen. I shook my head and picked up the nightstand and carried it up the stairs.